Edward Julius Gage comes from an old family. The surname is found as early as 1630, coming to Massachusetts from England with John Winthrop’s fleet. There were Gage’s who fought on both sides of the American Revolution. I am still trying to prove lineage to the Gage’s of the Winthrop fleet. Like the Rhoades research, I am pretty sure he comes from this line of Gage’s based on proximity and naming practices, but I lack good evidence. DNA testing also supports a very early American immigrant in our line, earlier than the Alecks (1850’s), Cobes (1840’s), Stockfords (1840’s), and DeJeans (1790’s).
Myrle Grimes also believed the Gage’s to have come over with the Winthrop fleet, and her descendants have been able to join the DAR and SAR through our connection to revolutionary war veterans, Isaac Gage, and his father-in-law, Samuel Abbott.
According to grandma, Edward did not talk much about his parents so we let the records tell his story. His birth varies depending on which record you want to accept.
- His obituary stated he was born to Mr. and Mrs. Sumner Gage in New Hampshire on 27 November 1867; this record is indirect/derivative evidence since it was written by his survivors a lifetime after the event, and type set by newspaper employees.
- His headstone says he was born in 1867; this record is also indirect/derivative evidence for the same reasons.
- A record of birth was found in Orford, New Hampshire for Julius Edwin Gage on 16 November 1868. Normally, a record of birth would be direct evidence but since this record is a transcription of the original, it is derivative and could possibly contain transcription errors (such as the order of his given and middle name). Both his obituary and the record of birth name his father as Sumner Gage. Since there is no other known Sumner Gage in New Hampshire around 1867/1868, it is accepted that the record of birth is for our Edward Gage.
The New Hampshire birth record places Edward as the fourth child of Caroline A. ____ of Topsham [Orange County], Vermont and Sumner Gage of Lyme [Grafton County], New Hampshire. After his birth in 1868, Sumner and “Carrie” remained in Orford, Grafton County, New Hampshire where they were farmers (1870 census).
By 1880, Sumner, “Caroline” and children are farming in Brookfield, LaSalle County, Illinois. It is not clear how long Edward stayed in Illinois, but he was in Iowa marrying Luella DeJean in 1890.
In the 1981 History of Harrison County book, Myrle wrote that Edward came to Iowa in the 1880s to work on his cousin’s farm (Lizzie Gage Nichol) before he married Luella. He rented a farm along the Picayune Creek in Northeast Douglas Township until 1898, when he bought 80 acres also in Douglas Township. This farm included an orchard. Myrle wrote that the farmhouse and outbuildings were all gone and all that was left was the windmill.
He sold the 80-acre farm in 1905 and in 1907 bought a home in Woodbine. Both Myrle and my grandmother recall him running the gas plant, operating the street lights and the town’s sprinkler wagon. According to Myrle, he and C.H. Nichol owned a grain thresher (operated by a horse walking in a circle) and a steam engine for power. He also was the supervisor of the Harrison County Bridge Gang. The bridge gang built bridges over the creeks and the Boyer River.
Edward’s father died in Illinois in 1895. His mother moved to Iowa after Sumner’s death and is buried in the same cemetery as Edward under the name Carrie Gage.
Edward’s obituary says he is buried in Dunlap Cemetery, but Find-A-Grave.com has him and his mother at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Dunlap. There doesn’t seem to be a Dunlap Cemetery in Iowa, perhaps the name was changed after his death.
On 29 January 1890, he married Luella DeJean in Dunlap, Harrison County, Iowa. He was 22 years old when he married Luella DeJean.
- Una Myrle
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- Leslie Howard